Thursday, November 10, 2011

Little Earl from the TV show What's Happening!! played by David Hollander

David Jack Hollander was born in Los Angeles, California.  He is best known for playing the role of "Little Earl" on What's Happening!! and Keith Lewis  on Lewis & Clark.

David Hollander played the role of "Little Earl" on What's Happening!!

David made his television debut on an episode of Jigsaw John in 1976 starring Jack Warden, James Hong, Alan Feinstein and Pippa Scott.  That same year he also appeared in Switch starring Robert Wagner, Eddie Albert, Sharon Gless, and Charlie Callas.

Also in 1976, he landed the role of David Ferguson in the television series The McLean Stevenson Show starring McLean Stevenson of
M*A*S*H fame as (Mac Ferguson), Barbara Stuart (Peggy Ferguson), Ayn Ruymen (Janet Ferguson), Steve Nevil (Chris Ferguson), Jason Whitney (Jason Ferguson), and Madge West (Grandma Ferguson). The show only lasted two years.

After The McLean Stevenson Show, Hollander starred in the movie It Happened One Christmas  co-starring Marlo Thomas, Orson Welles, Doris Roberts, Wayne Rogers, Barney Martin, Cloris Leachman, Karen Carlson, Archie Hahn, and Christopher Guest (1977).

David then immediately landed the regular role of Earl Barnett Jr. (Little Earl) on the TV show What's Happening!!  He co-starred with Haywood Nelson (Dwayne Nelson), Ernest Thomas (Roger 'Raj' Thomas), Danielle Spencer (Dee Thomas), Fred Berry (Freddie 'Rerun' Stubbs), Shirley Hemphill (Shirley Wilson), Mabel King (Mabel 'Mama' Thomas), and John Welsh (Earl 'Big Earl' Barnett).  Hollander appeared as 'Little Earl' for ten episodes of the show from 1978 to 1979 during the last two years of it's four year run.

The main cast of What's Happening!!

During his run on What's Happening!!, Hollander also appeared in films and shows such as  What Really Happened to the Class of '65? starring Tony Bill and Jack Ging (1978); Coma starring Michael Douglas, Rip Torn, Lois Chiles, Geneviève Bujold, Richard Widmark, and Tom Selleck (1978); Kojak starring Telly Savalas, Dan Frazer, Kevin Dobson, George Savalas, and Kenneth McMillan (1978); Eight Is Enough starring
starring Dick Van Patten, Lani O'Grady, Betty Buckley, Susan Richardson, Dianne Kay, Adam Rich, Laurie Walters, Connie Needham, Grant Goodeve, and Willie Aames (1978); Quincy M.E. starring Jack Klugman, John S. Ragin and Robert Ito (1978); The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank starring Vicki Belmonte, Barbara Allyne Bennet, Charles Grodin, Carol Burnett, Linda Gray, Chris Dekker, Edwina Gough, and Alex Rocco (1978); Barnaby Jones co-starring Buddy Ebsen, Lee Meriwether and John Carter (1978); Flying High starring Connie Sellecca, Pat Klous and Kathryn Witt (1979); Mandrake co-starring Anthony Herrera, Simone Griffeth, Robert Reed, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, James Hong, and Harry Blackstone Jr. (1979); $weepstake$  starring Edd Byrnes (1979); and Family starring Sada Thompson, James Broderick, Meredith Baxter, Gary Frank, and Kristy McNichol (1970).

David Hollander in Coma 1978

After What's Happening!!, David immediately landed the role of Andy Flanagan on the television series A New Kind of Family.  He co-starred with Eileen Brennan (Kit Flanagan ), Rob Lowe (Tony Flanagan), Lauri Hendler (Hillary Flanagan), Connie Ann Hearn (Jill Stone), and Gwynne Gilford (Abby Stone).  Hollander played the role for the entire two years and eleven episodes the show lasted.

David Hollander and the cast of A New Kind of Family

During his run on A New Kind of Family, Hollander starred in The Rose with Bette Midler, Alan Bates, Frederic Forrest, Doris Roberts, David Keith, James Keane, Harry Dean Stanton, Sandra McCabe, and Barry Primus (1979); and Scavenger Hunt co-starring Richard Benjamin, James Coco, Cleavon Little, Scatman Crothers, Cloris Leachman, Ruth Gordon, Roddy McDowall, Tony Randall, Willie Aames, Robert Morley, Stephanie Faracy, and Richard Mulligan (1979).

After A New Kind of Family, Hollander made various film and television appearances such as House Calls starring
Wayne Rogers, Lynn Redgrave, Ray Buktenica and David Wayne (1980); Lou Grant starring Edward Asner, Robert Walden, Nancy Marchand, Linda Kelsey, Jack Bannon, Daryl Anderson, and Mason Adams (1980); To Race the Wind co-starring Steve Guttenberg, Randy Quaid, Catherine Hicks, Mark L. Taylor, Barbara Barrie, and David James Carroll (1980); A Small Circle of Friends co-starring Brad Davis, Karen Allen, Shelley Long, Jameson Parker, Daniel Stern, and Gary Springer (1980); Flo starring Polly Holliday, Geoffrey Lewis, Sudie Bond, Leo Burmester, Jim Baker, and Stephen Keep Mills (1980); Airplane! co-starring Peter Graves, Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Barbara Billingsley, Frank Ashmore, Jimmie Walker, and James Hong. (1980);  Little House on the Prairie starring Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon, Lindsay Greenbush, Sidney Greenbush, Karen Grassle, Melissa Sue Anderson, and Alison Arngrim (1980); A Whale for the Killing co-starring Peter Strauss, Dee Wallace, Richard Widmark, and Kathryn Walker (1981); American Pop co-starring Mews Small, Richard Moll, Ron Thompson, and Jerry Holland (voice, 1981); Buck Rogers in the 25th Century starring Gil Gerard, Erin Gray, Felix Silla, and Mel Blanc (1981); Amy co-starring Jenny Agutter, Barry Newman, Margaret O'Brien, Kathleen Nolan, Nanette Fabray, Jane Daly, Frances Bay, Chris Robinson, and Lou Fant (1981); Nero Wolfe starring William Conrad, Lee Horsley, Allan Miller, George Voskovec, and Robert Coote (2 episodes, 1981); Dear Teacher co-starring Melinda Culea, Rebecca York, Rachel Jacobs, Ted Danson, John Welsh, Nan Martin, and Sydney Penny (1981).

David Hollander in Airplane! 1980

In late 1981, Hollander won the role of Keith Lewis in the series Lewis & Clark.  He co-starred with Gabe Kaplan (Stewart Lewis), Michael McManus (John), Guich Koock (Roscoe Clark), Amy Linker (Kelly Lewis), Ilene Graff (Alicia Lewis), Wendy Holcombe (Wendy), and Clifton James (Silas Jones).  David played the role of Keith Lewis for two years until the show ended in 1982.

After Lewis & Clark, David starred in the movies Just a Little More Love with Michael Warren, Gordon Jump, Jason Bateman, Tracy Reed, K Callan, and Virginia Capers (1983); and Packin' It In co-starring Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, Molly Ringwald, Andrea Marcovicci, and Tony Roberts (1983).

In 1983, Hollander landed a voice acting role in The Littles co-starring Jimmy Keegan, Bettina Bush, Alvy Moore, and Alvy Moore.  He voiced thirteen episodes of the show.

Hollander went on to star in Meatballs Part II with Richard Mulligan, Kim Richards, Hamilton Camp, John Mengatti, Paul Reubens, John Larroquette, and Tammy Taylor (1984); he played the role of Wesley Sarnac in the movie Call to Glory co-starring Craig T. Nelson, Cindy Pickett, Elisabeth Shue, Tom O'Brien, Gabriel Damon, and Keenan Wynn (1984). 

David Hollander (left) in Meatballs Part II 1984

Later in 1985, David expanded his role as Wesley Sarnac in the TV show based on the movie that he starred in, Call to Glory.  He co-starred with Gabriel Damon (R.H. Sarnac), Craig T. Nelson (Colonel Raynor Sarnac), Elisabeth Shue (Jackie Sarnac ), Tom O'Brien (Patrick Thomas), Keenan Wynn (Carl Sarnac), and Cindy Pickett (Vanessa Sarnac ).  Hollander played the role of Wesley in five episodes during the two year run of the show.

David Hollanger (right) and the cast of Call to Glory

During his stint on Call to Glory, he also starred in Dark Horse with co-starring Randy Brooks, Nicholas Campbell, Bo Hopkins, Lenore Kasdorf, Wings Hauser, and Ed Crick (1985).  He went on to appear in Amazing Stories with Steve Antin, Robyn Lively, Christina Applegate, Robert L. Gibson, and Cheryl McWilliams (1986). 

After a two year absence from the screen, David appeared on an episode of China Beach in 1990 starring Dana Delany, Michael Boatman, Troy Evans, Marg Helgenberger, Jeff Kober, Concetta Tomei, and Wings Hauser.

His roles became few and far between.  After a seven year hiatus, he returned to the big screen in The Relic in 1997.  He co-starred with Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, Linda Hunt, Clayton Rohner, Thomas Ryan, Diane Robin, Chi Muoi Lo, Robert Lesser, Tico Wells, Audra Lindley, and Constance Towers.

David Hollander's last acting appearances were in 2001.  He starred in Southlander: Diary of a Desperate Musician with Rory Cochrane, Rossie Harris, Beth Orton, Laura Prepon, Beck, Meghan Gallagher, Richard Edson, and Ione Skye; and Zigs co-starring Jason Priestley, Peter Dobson, Kane Picoy, Richard Portnow, Dinah Manoff, Orien Richman, Alicia Coppola, Steve Railsback, and Alexandra Powers.

David Hollander today

In 2003, David dabbled in cinematography and camera work in Fawn and In The Name of Love.  He then turned to supervising the music for animated shows and films such as the series Megas XLR  from 2004 to 2005 starring David DeLuise, Wendee Lee and Steve Blum; My Gym Partner's a Monkey from 2005 to 2007 which starred Tom Kenny, Nika Futterman and Grey DeLisle; and the film Black Dynamite in 2009 starring Arsenio Hall, Tommy Davidson, Brian McKnight, Buddy Lewis, and Michael Jai White; and the show Black Dynamite: The Animated Series scheduled for release in 2012.


  1. is he married? have kids? gay? what...?

  2. still looks like a nice guy! recently saw him as an autistic boy on "quincy, m.e." ~~ he was FANTASTIC .... i have an autistic son, so {of course}, i cried during his performance! :^(

  3. He refuses to call his wife anything but his "partner." I think they have some weird business relationship. He also has a child with her. They live in Marfa. He is soooooo sweet. I think david is a good person.

  4. Yes He's best known as Little Earl and As I also recall in a pilot in which his Dad is going out with his teacher he get's obnoxious about it and when he tells another boy "Filler up" he then says no but I will do this!"Puts the bowl of Spaghetti on his head and the teacher ask's "What's going on?"and neither one answers she says "You come with me to the office"Then He says"No Wait"Admits that he asked for it then asks if they can still be friends and shake hands then he says"Okay"then they do.